Most Read Articles
Christina Lau, 20 Apr 2020

Hippocampal avoidance during whole-brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT), together with memantine, better preserves cognitive function vs WBRT plus memantine in patients with brain metastases, without compromising survival, a multi-institutional phase III trial has shown.

Natalia Reoutova, 20 May 2020

Cancer patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be at higher risk of severe outcomes, including death, but cancer type and treatment serve as better predictors, according to recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting I.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, affecting an estimated 4.5 million people and killing over 300,000. Cancer, on the other hand, is newly diagnosed in 18 million people and takes the lives of 10 million every year.

“We have invited physician scientists who are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of patients with cancer. They gathered prospective information to understand the effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, are testing new treatments, and are making this knowledge available to the global research community, so we can all benefit from their experience,” said Professor Antoni Ribas from UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, US, chairperson of the COVID-19 and cancer plenary session of the meeting.

5 days ago
Case presentation: The patient is a 46-year-old Korean lady who first presented with aggravating pleuritic chest pain characterised by a stabbing pain in the chest when inhaling and exhaling. A diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was made from computed tomography (CT)-guided needle aspiration biopsy, and the tumour was found to be epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive (exon 19 deletion). Chest imaging revealed the presence of left-sided pleural seeding nodules. The patient was treated with afatanib with partial response as best response. Ten months after starting treatment, the patient experienced disease progression.

Rucaparib boosts PFS in BRCA-mutant recurrent ovarian cancer

Elaine Tan
21 Sep 2017

Rucaparib maintenance therapy increases progression-free survival (PFS) in BRCA-mutant recurrent ovarian cancer (OC) by 77 percent, according to late-breaking results from the ARIEL3 trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid, Spain.

The trial investigated PFS in 564 patients with high-grade recurrent OC (disease progression ≥6 months after penultimate platinum) who had achieved either a complete response (according to RECIST v1.1) or partial response (RECIST v1.1 or Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup CA-125 criteria) to their last platinum-based therapy. The patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive rucaparib 600 mg BID maintenance therapy or placebo. [ESMO 2017, abstract LBA40_PR]

Investigators assessed the PFS benefit of rucaparib (a PARP inhibitor with antitumour activity in BRCA-mutant OC or BRCA wild-type OC with high genomic loss of heterozygosity [LOH]) vs placebo sequentially in three groups: group 1 comprising patients with BRCA mutations (deleterious germline or somatic BRCA mutation), group 2 comprising patients with homologous recombination deficient (HRD) OC (BRCA-mutant or BRCA wild-type with high LOH), and group 3 comprising the entire intent-to-treat population.

“Results showed that compared with placebo, rucaparib led to a significant improvement in median PFS in all three groups, with the greatest improvement seen in group 1 [5.4 vs 16.6, 13.6 and 10.8 months, respectively; p<0.0001; hazard ratios, 0.23, 0.32, and 0.36, respectively],” reported lead author Professor Jonathan Ledermann of UCL Cancer Institute, London, UK.

Exploratory analyses in non-nested subgroups of patients with BRCA wild-type OC found that rucaparib treatment significantly improved PFS vs placebo. “However, as expected, a greater magnitude of PFS benefit was seen in those with high LOH [median PFS, 11.1 vs 5.6 months with placebo; p=0.0135] than those with low LOH [median PFS, 8.2 vs 5.3 months; p=0.0003],” said Ledermann.

“PFS benefit with rucaparib treatment was not dependent on time to progression since penultimate platinum therapy or whether patients had partial or complete response to their last platinum therapy,” he highlighted.

In ARIEL3, rucaparib was well tolerated with a safety profile consistent with previous phase II studies. The most common grade 3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) associated with rucaparib were anaemia (18.8 percent vs 0.5 percent with placebo) and increase in alanine/aspartate aminotransferase levels (10.5 vs 0 percent).  “However, elevations were transient, self-limiting and not associated with other signs of liver toxicity,” Ledermann noted.

At the visit cut-off date (15 Apr 2017), 13.4 percent of patients in the rucaparib group vs 1.6 percent in the placebo group discontinued treatment due to TEAEs (excluding disease progression), and 1.6 vs 1.1 percent died due to adverse events (including disease progression).

“PARP inhibitors are the biggest development in OC therapy since the introduction of platinum drugs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rucaparib is clearly an exemplary member of this exciting class of drugs that can be used to treat women with recurrent OC in the maintenance setting,” Ledermann concluded.

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Most Read Articles
Christina Lau, 20 Apr 2020

Hippocampal avoidance during whole-brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT), together with memantine, better preserves cognitive function vs WBRT plus memantine in patients with brain metastases, without compromising survival, a multi-institutional phase III trial has shown.

Natalia Reoutova, 20 May 2020

Cancer patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be at higher risk of severe outcomes, including death, but cancer type and treatment serve as better predictors, according to recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting I.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, affecting an estimated 4.5 million people and killing over 300,000. Cancer, on the other hand, is newly diagnosed in 18 million people and takes the lives of 10 million every year.

“We have invited physician scientists who are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of patients with cancer. They gathered prospective information to understand the effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, are testing new treatments, and are making this knowledge available to the global research community, so we can all benefit from their experience,” said Professor Antoni Ribas from UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, US, chairperson of the COVID-19 and cancer plenary session of the meeting.

5 days ago
Case presentation: The patient is a 46-year-old Korean lady who first presented with aggravating pleuritic chest pain characterised by a stabbing pain in the chest when inhaling and exhaling. A diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was made from computed tomography (CT)-guided needle aspiration biopsy, and the tumour was found to be epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive (exon 19 deletion). Chest imaging revealed the presence of left-sided pleural seeding nodules. The patient was treated with afatanib with partial response as best response. Ten months after starting treatment, the patient experienced disease progression.